Why Steve Jobs' Death Feels So Sad

From Lex Friedman at MacWorld.com:

On Twitter and Facebook, in my email, and through IMs, I keep hearing a similar refrain: Why am I so sad? Why am I feeling such a strong reaction to the death of someone I’ve never met?

Many of us feel tremendous sadness in light of Steve Jobs’s death. I can’t speak for my friends about why they feel so affected by his passing, but I imagine their reasons for tearing up mirror my own.

Welcome in my home

I can’t tell you the name of either one of RIM’s CEOs. Though I know his name, I honestly couldn’t pick Google CEO Larry Page out of a lineup, and I don’t know that I’ve ever heard his speaking voice, either. But I know just what Steve Jobs looked like, and just how he sounded. Not every CEO can—or should—show off his company’s products. But watching Steve deliver a keynote or host an Apple Event, I wasn’t struck solely by his much-lauded showmanship. Part of what made a Jobs-helmed event so exciting to watch was his very real, very tangible passion for the products he was unveiling. Steve didn’t just run Apple—he loved it, and you could see that love, that pride, beaming from his face.

You hear people talk about television actors as the people we don’t know who we let into our homes, since they show up in our dens each night. Every Apple event, Steve showed up in my home too, wherever my Mac was. I would read the liveblog first, then watch the video as soon as Apple made it available. I’ve watched countless interviews with the man, too. So part of the reason I think his death hits me hard is because I really do feel like I knew him—even if he didn’t know me.

(continued)

Saturday Dance Party: Sylvester – I Who Have Nothing

This came up on random shuffle on my iPod the other day and I’ve been meaning to share it since. It is one of my favorite tunes of the era, but surprisingly was not one of Sylvester’s bigger hits. To this day I can’t understand why.

I agree 100% with the comments left by a guy who posted a slightly shorter version of this on YouTube:

There have been many “classic” versions of this tune done by many artists over the years (from Shirley Bassey to Tom Jones, and more), but in my humble opinion, nothing comes close to the emotional resonance of Sylvester’s version. Astounding and brilliant, it brings tears to my eyes, not only because of the beauty of his voice, but also because it was a such a special time period that will never be repeated. It didn’t matter who you were or what you were. Everyone loved Sylvester.

You Need to Watch This

From Bill in Exile:

If you want to understand everything—and I do mean EVERYTHING—that’s going on in the U.S. today and to do so in ten minutes then you need neither watch nor read anything else this year than this video.

Mirror Monday

Bears an uncanny resemblance to my friend and previous housemate Michael, around the time I originally met him back in the early 90s. Even he thought it was eerie when he saw this.

Not Quite So Settled

It’s been nearly four months since Ben and I arrived in Denver. We’re both working, we’re finally out of that horrific hotel and moved into a place of own own, and yet…I still don’t feel settled.

This city isn’t yet “home.”

Ben and I agree that while neither of us regrets the decision to move here, we both have some disappointments. For Ben, it’s been his lead teacher. This program was the sole reason we relocated here, and it’s been an uphill battle for him in trying to gain this woman’s trust and respect. I have a feeling that her participation in the program was involuntary, and since she’s moving overseas at the end of this school year, has basically checked out and sees absolutely no reason to help an aspiring teacher get his career off the ground. She’s told Ben she “doesn’t like men in the classroom,” and has provided precious little positive feedback regarding his performance. After the glowing praise he received while working as a teacher’s aide in his last two assignments, I find her attitude toward him confusing.  I also suppose it’s possible she just doesn’t like him (equally confusing).  How can anyone not like Ben?

Okay, admittedly I’m biased.

My disappointment with Denver pretty much boils down to one thing: my commute. I have learned that I really, really hate traffic.

I know in the overall scheme of things it’s silly, and we could’ve chosen a different apartment complex somewhat closer to my work that would’ve cut out a lot this frustration, but Ben and I both liked this place more than the other options we’d looked at, and since I have a car, I wanted to give him more of a distance advantage since he’s currently relying on public transit to get to and from work and school.

In Phoenix I was spoiled.  I lived and worked on the same street, and my commute was about four and a half miles each way. In Denver, it’s 11 miles each way, and it requires that I take what are undoubtedly the two worst thoroughfares in the entire city: Colorado Boulevard and Interstate 25.

To be honest, the morning commute isn’t really all that bad. Traffic moves smoothly down Colorado, and even southbound I-25 is generally easy going. Returning home in the afternoon however, is a little slice of hell. Considering the population of the Denver metro area is actually less than Phoenix, I can’t understand why the number of cars on the freeway actually reminds me more of the traffic found in the Bay Area or the outskirts of Los Angeles.

Admittedly, some days are surprisingly a breeze. I can get on the freeway at Orchard and stay at a relatively constant 65 mph until I get to Colorado Boulevard.  But those days are rare; most of the time it’s a parking lot, creeping along at a speed reminiscent of the opening scene from Office Space.

Colorado Boulevard itself isn’t bad heading north until you reach 1st Avenue, at which point—without fail—traffic comes to a complete standstill. Thankfully (and I swear it’s the one thought that keeps me sane at that point) is that I know it’s only another half mile until I get home.

On a positive note, I love my job. The company wants to bring me on as a permanent, full time employee (with all the benefits), but it appears I am only about halfway through my 640 hour contract, requiring them to pay a early termination fee to the agency I work for if they want to put me on their payroll. I have no idea what that amount is, but I was speaking with the office manager on Friday and she said, “It all depends on whether we convert you in October, November, or December. In any case it’s not an outrageous amount.” Fingers crossed that it’s sooner rather than later.

Also speaking positively, I am finally warming up to the apartment.  We’re still not completely put away and organized, but it’s reached the point where it’s livable and I don’t have a sense of guilt when I get home in the evening and just want to sit and watch television instead of going through the boxes that are stacked in our storage room.  That’s not a task that can be put off indefinitely as a few items are missing that I’d really like to find, but for now I can live with it.

I’m also feeling a little more settled (at least psychologically) because this past Friday I decided to shell out an extra $30 a month and get a reserved parking spot in the garage.  Yes, so far there always seem to be plenty of unreserved spots available, but I wanted the added assurance of knowing that after the snow starts flying there will always be a covered place for Anderson to park when I get home. (And the spot I got, right next to the stairwell, is extra wide, so no door dings!)

Want

Reminds me of summers spent at my grandparents’ house in western Massachusetts…

My Thoughts Exactly

Because the “Let them eat cake!” attitude of the French aristocracy monied elite worked out so well for them the last time.

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We can only hope…

Three Examples Demonstrate a Proof

Stolen from Bill in Exile:

1. They cheered the execution of an innocent man.

2. They screamed, “Let him die” when told of a person with cancer and no insurance.

3.  They booed a United States fighting man in uniform serving in Iraq.

This is the face of the republican party today.

This who who they are and what they stand for.

And these people are not worthy of being called Americans.

They are, simply put, a disgrace.

After Seeing This…

…I was extra nice to my Barista this morning. I honestly never realized they had it so bad.

BTW, this is exactly the kind of guy I would’ve gone after when I was his age. Amazing how tastes change as you get older. Anyhow, I still think he’s cute, but from experience I know that very often under that kind of blond cuteness there lurks an unbridled propensity to break hearts, not that I’m saying he would

Check out his other videos. This boy doesn’t need Starbucks…he needs a manager and a record contract!

Personal Style

I think you reach a point in life where the obsessions of your youth are no longer quite so important as they once were. While flipping through an issue of Details this morning and seeing the article that screamed “Must Have Looks for Fall” I got to thinking how silly it all is. Fashion, like a lot of things in life, is transitory. What’s hot today is going to be considered dated tomorrow, so why worry about it? That’s why I think it’s important that people find their own sense of style. Find clothes that are comfortable, match your lifestyle, and don’t break the bank—because sooner or later all of it ends up at Goodwill or in the garbage.

For me, my personal style has been T-Shirts, Polos, and jeans for as long as I can remember. Once upon a time they were the official uniform of the clone brigade in the bars and I always felt less than properly dressed when I showed up in a polo shirt that sported an English flag instead of a green alligator.  (Even back in the day the premium paid for that little alligator was more than I could afford. Funny how things never seem to change.)

Out of habit, I still wear most shirts tucked in. After seeing some makeover show several years ago I know that alone has me teetering dangerously close to “doddering old fool” status, but I’m comfortable with it.  When my shirts aren’t tucked in, they look (to me) like they’re hanging down to my knees and it just doesn’t work on this body.  Maybe it would look better if I didn’t have the massive belly in the way. (BTW, weight is something else I no longer obsess about. I found it’s easier to just love and accept myself as I am instead of obsessing over every plus-or-minus 5 pound swing I go through. It’s sad when I read through old journals and remember that I was convinced if I could only lose 20 pounds―while easily fitting into size 33 jeans―all would be right in the world.  To my younger self I say, “Get over it. You’re perfect just the way you are.”

I never used to wear belts with my jeans. Of course, back then I had a butt that kept my pants from sliding off.

There are some things that I wore when I was younger that I won’t wear today: white jeans. Leather jackets. Anything with a “Members Only” label. Frye boots (another one-time seeming requirement for going out dancing).

What about you? Have you found a style that works for you, day in and day out?

You May Have Noticed…

…that I’ve been pretty quiet lately.

It’s been a combination of things, but mostly because after three long months in that pot-and-patchouli infused hotel, Ben and I are finally moved and settling into our own place again.

Every evening since the move last weekend has been spent sifting through the hundred or so boxes that accompanied us on this journey, unpacking and deciding what to keep out, what to put away in the apartment, what to toss or donate (yeah, we should’ve done a lot more of that before moving, but you know how that goes), and what to put into long-term storage.  We’ve made excellent headway, and the place is finally starting to look like home.  Hopefully by the end of today, all that will remain (for next weekend) is buying new fish and setting up the aquarium.